...running the course God sets before us, no matter the cost, no matter the task, to the end, for His glory

Monday, November 5, 2012

Riding Out the Storm~ Part Three.

The storms of life.
They come to everyone.
No one is immune.

The question is not IF they will come, the question is, what will you do WHEN they come.

In the lives of the disciples there was the storm when Jesus was with them in the boat and then there was the storm when Jesus walked out to His disciples. But in both storms, Jesus directed His disciples directly into their paths. Not only did He allow the storm, but seemingly He guided them INTO the storm.

Psalm 107:23-32 is about this exact thing.
But we will start with verse 1:
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He! Is! Good!
In a Psalm that is about to account for some of the worst difficulties in our lives, the psalmist begins with God! Is! Good! And then he goes on to say, "For His lovingkindness is everlasting."

That is the foundation: God is good and His love for us NEVER runs out!

Now let's look at the storm part of Ps 107:

~vs. 23-25a: Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters; They have seen the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep. For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind.
  • Yes, God is the One Who raises the storm.

~vs. 25b-27: which lifted up the waves of the sea. They rose up to the heavens, they went down to the depths; their souls melted away in their misery. They reeled and staggered like a drunken man, and were at their wits' end.
  • Storms are terrible, wrenching experiences for everyone who experiences them. And one of the worst aspects is that they are totally uncontrollable by man. All anyone can do is hunker down and ride it out!

~vs. 28a: Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble.
  • Storms leave us no other alternative. Our only hope for survival is to turn to God and cry out to Him.

~ vs. 28b-29: And He brought them out of their distresses. He caused the storm to be still, so that the waves of the sea were hushed.
  • God is the only One Who can cause the storms to be still and the waves to be quiet.
  • Luke 8:24- ...He rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped and it became still.
  • Ps. 66:7- (God) does still the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the tumult of the peoples.
  • Ps. 89:9- Thou does rule the swelling of the sea; when its waves rise, Thou does still them.

~ vs. 30: Then they were glad because they were quiet; so He guided them to their desired haven.
  • He is the One, and the Only One, Who can quiet the storm, Who can bring us joy, and Who can guide us to the exact spot He wanted us to be all along!

~ vs. 31-32: Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men! Let them extol Him also in the congregation of the people, and praise Him at the seat of the elders.
  • And our response is to PRAISE Him, to give thanks, to recognize His hand, and tell others of His great work!

Storms are not the only difficulty that Psalm 107 speaks of God working in and through.
  • vs 2- He saves His people from the enemy
  • vs 7- He leads His people to shelter and sustenance
  • vs 13- He rescues His people from distress
  • vs 14- He heals His people from illness.
His mighty hand is working constantly in our lives.
But just think about it: WE WOULD HAVE NEVER SEEN HIS MIGHTY HAND if it were not for the storm (or the enemy, or the want, or the distress, or the illness.)

Remember verse 1: God! Is! Good!
All the time.

When times are bad- God! Is! Good!
When money is short- God! Is! Good!
When sickness surrounds- God! Is! Good!
When the enemy attacks- God! Is! Good!

And when the storm clouds gather on the horizon and the waves begin to pitch and roll and the footing is unsecure and there is nothing you can do but hang on and cry out to the Lord.....
                         .....yes, ESPECIALLY THEN, God! Is! God!!!!!  
                                                                                  And His lovingkindness is everlasting!

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